Tyrone Taylor thought he would be working for FedEx in September. Instead, he was working for the Brewers, making his big league debut, no less.
When the 25-year-old right fielder finished his season at Triple-A San Antonio, he was not included among the club’s September callups, so he drove home to the Phoenix and applied for a job at the local FedEx facility. He thought the interview went well, but the next day he was contacted by farm director Tom Flanagan and told to report immediately to the Brewers, who were dealing with nagging injuries to outfielders Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain.
“I was stoked,” Taylor said. “Usually, you get told of a callup with all the boys in the clubhouse, and that’s awesome, too.”
But what about that interview with FedEx? Taylor indeed received a job offer a few days later but told them he would be a bit preoccupied until Milwaukee was done playing.
“They told me they could hold my contract for 45 days,” said Taylor, who collected his first big league hit with an RBI single off Cubs reliever Duane Underwood Jr. on Sept. 8 and went 4-for-10 overall in 15 games.
The callup provided a nice capstone to an otherwise tough season for Taylor, who suffered a wrist injury early and didn’t get hot until the final month. In 92 games for the Missions, he batted .269/.334/.461 with 14 home runs.
A second-round pick out of high school in 2012, Taylor spun his wheels for a few years in the minors until breaking through at Triple-A in 2018. He was added to the 40-man roster that winter and had an impressive spring camp with Milwaukee this year.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell compared Taylor’s arc to that of Trent Grisham, a 2015 first-rounder who stagnated for a few years before a huge breakthrough this season that pushed him all the way to the big leagues.
“I thought he had a great spring training,” Counsell said. “He finished up really strong. When we looked at September, he was definitely in the conversation.”
*OF Tristen Lutz (triceps strain), C Payton Henry (knee) and LHP Nathan Kirby (rib fracture) all were scratched from scheduled assignments in the Arizona Fall League. OF Pablo Abreu, 3B Jake Gatewood and RHP Robbie Hitt were added to the Glendale roster, with INF/C David Fry expected to pitch up some of the catching slack for Henry.
*C David Freitas not only led the PCL with a .381 batting average for San Antonio, he led all of the minor leagues.